Thanks very much for all the comments and feedback you all have sent over the past week. As the very notion of identity–let alone Singaporean identity–is so nebulous, my thoughts are still forming as to what exactly a global city identity in Singapore will look like.
It is easier, I suppose, to depict this tension with real-world examples, and what better than the recent Diner en Blanc brouhaha.
In my mind, this is a perfect example of how some people with a “global city identity” were trying to impose their values on Singaporeans in whom the “national identity” still burns strong.
I too was really cheesed off that some people might not consider the likes of tau hway sophisticated enough for their table in Singapore.
It was thus heartening to see some of the Diner en Blanc organisers apparently backing down from their earlier seemingly immovable position.
National identity One: Global identity Zero.
But, as I alluded to in my article on identity, with current birth and immigration rates where they are, and Singapore’s openness to the global economy, how long more can the National identity prevail? If Diner en Blanc attempts to sideline tau hway in 20 years, how many will object? Would love to hear your thoughts.
I am not saying all this to rouse nationalistic sentiment. Xenophobia is inexcusable. Singapore will always need and welcome migrants. (That said, I believe the pace has been too fast and must be moderated.)
All this is simply food for thought: for Singaporeans and all the wonderful people from outside who are living with us to take pause and contemplate the changing times that we are living in, and the evolving identities that we are witnessing.